“Beethoven: Symphonies 1-9 and Missa Solemnis”
|Ludwig van Beethoven||
Egmont Overture, Op. 84,
Missa Solemnis in D major, Op. 123,
Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (complete).
Jerome Hines (Baritone), Norman Scott (Bass), Nan Merriman (Contralto), Eileen Farrell (Soprano), Lois Marshall (Soprano), Jan Peerce (Tenor), Eugene Conley (Tenor).
Robert Shaw Chorale.
NBC Symphony Orchestra – Arturo Toscanini.
Celebrating the 250th anniversary of his birth, Sony Music Entertainment presents four major reissues devoted to Ludwig van Beethoven in its series of Classical Masters. Among the treasures in these new budget-priced sets are the complete symphonies, string quartets and violin sonatas performed by illustrious musicians of the past century. Between 1949 and 1952, in his mid-80s, Arturo Toscanini conducted his hand-picked NBC Symphony Orchestra in the 9 Symphonies, with RCA Victor’s microphones (mostly in Carnegie Hall) capturing the legendary maestro’s final thoughts on the great works. These taut, unflaggingly energetic performances have never sounded better than in Sony Classical’s latest remastering. From the same period comes Beethoven’s Missa solemnis. When it was released in 1953, one of the reviewers in the UK’s Record Guide wrote that “for sheer incandescence and drama the performance can seldom have been equaled”, and later a Gramophone critic called it “indispensable”, declaring that “the strivings for effects almost beyond the power of even music to express, the visionary, the serene components of the massive work are all incomparably expressed in Toscanini’s reading”.